Dubai:Rajasthan Royals' all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that saying goodbye to his family in Christchurch was tough but the decision to play in IPL 2020 was taken "as a family" and the got on the plane to the UAE with his "parents' love and blessing".
Stokes was granted indefinite compassionate leave by the ECB during the series against Pakistan in August and was in New Zealand for five weeks to be with his father who was diagnosed with cancer.
He arrived in the UAE last week and is currently undergoing a six-day quarantine, with his participation likely for Rajasthan Royals' next match against Delhi Capitals on October 9.
"Saying goodbye to my dad, my mum and my brother in Christchurch was tough. It has been a difficult time for us as a family, but we've pulled together and supported each other as best we can,'' Stokes wrote in a column for The Mirror.
"And I was able to get on the plane with my parents' love and blessing after we reached the decision, for me to get back playing, as a family with no external influences," he added.
Stokes described the conversations with his mother when he initially came to New Zealand as the toughest.
"I didn't know what dad wanted, I didn't know what mum wanted so to start that conversation off was the hardest thing of all. And then mum made it simple, she said: 'The time you are spending here now with your dad is so much more important than the time you will spend when the worst happens,'' he said.
"That is a tough thing to hear, but when it comes from your mum and your dad is reinforcing that message, then it makes things a lot easier to deal with,'' he added.The all-rounder also spoke of how his father reminded him of his cricketing responsibilities.
"My dad was also very strong on the responsibilities I have. He told me I have a duty to do the job that I do and I have a duty as a husband and father as well. We gave it all a lot of thought and talked it over at length, and we came to a decision that now sees me back focusing on the game," he said.(UNI)